This is a paperback reprint of a collection of contributed essays about mysticism and philosophy.
It challenges the widely accepted interpretaion of mystical experience that received its fullest expression in two volumes edited by Steven T.
Katz: Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis (OUP 1987) and Mysticism and Religious Traditions (OUP 1983).
According to Katz and his colleagues, mystical experience, can be explained as the constructed and mediated product of previously held beliefs and concepts.
On this view, there is no such thing as 'universal' mystical experience.
The present volume attempts to show that there is a single type of mystical experience that cuts across cultural and linguistic lines.
This is the experience of 'pure consciousnes,' a state in which the subject remains conscious but experiences neither thought, sensation, feeling, nor object of consciousness.
Part I of the book demonstrates that there are well-attested reports of pure consciousness events occuring in a wide variety of ages and traditions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The essays in Part II consider the philosophical implications of these reports, arguing that there are no logical blocks to the claim of pure consciousness events.